Religious Cleansing: The video game

dl-scanAll this investigation of Medieval Germany reminds me of an old 1992 computer game I used to play called Darklands.

It was a highly-detailed roll-playing game was set in the 15th Century in the Holy Roman Empire, so it is a bit before the time of the Anabaptist movement. However, one of the main themes of the game was assisting the church in wiping out heretics, mostly witches. Instead of magical spells, your characters learned about and prayed for the favor of saints. They could also perfect alchemical concoctions for use in battle.

The game was and still is one of the most doggedly realistic RPGs. Your characters age, grow old and die. They are created with extensive background histories which determine their abilities. They gain regional reputations. And they are limited in how much they can carry, based on their statistics.

Microprose, which was a Maryland company by the way, had planned to do many sequels for different regions in Europe. Unfortunately, the game gained a well-deserved reputation for being buggy, and there never were any sequels.


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